Exciting and fascinating information at Energy Committee last night –
- Town administrator of Dartmouth was the guest, and he explained how that town, for a small investment (he estimated it at $35K) encouraged private third party development of seven solar photovoltaic installations, most on privately owned land, with the town reaping major economic benefits via the town entering into power purchase agreements. As a result, Dartmouth will be saving an estimated $7 m. over 20 years. The town merely zoned to allow the PV arrays anywhere in town, and then just issued RFP’s to third parties to provide PV generated power to the town via the power purchase agreements. Private developers then approached the town to provide the power on privately owned sites (15-20 acres) via the power purchase agreements. The town then contracted with those third parties to obtain the PV power for 20 years at 8 cents/KWH, which the utility is required to buy at 12 cents/KWH. The utility issues credits to the town for the PV electricity, enough credits such that the town pays for its own electric needs via those credits. It works because the town’s long term stability and credit worthiness is an essential element for the third parties looking to contract for the power purchase agreements – private parties in place of the town would not allow the deal to happen. $35K invested, plus time of town officials, and it returns $7 m. The Dartmouth town administrator left us all the documents they used to make it happen. Mike Sullivan wants us to start by pursuing a PV array on 2 acres of town owned land next to the Waste Water Treatment Plant and questions whether we have any 15-20 acres sites on which private PV arrays could be built.
- Mike Sullivan reported that the big news from the DEP review of the Waste Water Treatment Plant energy efficiency was that Medfield was already the most energy efficient of the 23 plants they had audited. Kudos to those running the WWTP for what they have already done for the town.